China bans the editor Notepad++!

M.Sc. Jan Hörnemann

China bans the editor Notepad++!

Notepad++, a very well known text editor, which is widely used by software developers, is no longer available in China. The founder of the free editor supports the protesters in Hong Kong and the Uyghurs. In response to this support, there have been cyber attacks and the editor has been blocked from downloading in China.

Support for protesters in Hong Kong

On July 17 this year Notepad++ released a new version of their editor. As in many areas of IT, new products or versions get their own name next to the version number. The version that was released in mid-July is called: v7.8.9 Stand with Hong Kong.

In the accompanying post regarding the new version of the editor, author Don Ho explains how he came to name the current version Stand with Hong Kong. Don Ho describes the political situation in Hong Kong, especially the “National security law” of China passed on June 30th gives Don Ho reason to make a statement.

He supports the protesters fighting for their human rights and appeals to all people worldwide to stand up for human rights and freedom of speech in Hong Kong. This circumstance prompted Don Ho to name the new Notepad++ version.

Don Ho is a developer who has always been politically active and gives his opinion on the political situation worldwide. Also the US president Donald Trump does not always come off well with the developer.

Notepad++ v7.8.1 : Free Uyghur

An older version of the Notepad++ editor, which was released on October 29, 2019, also criticizes Chinese politics. The Uighurs are a Muslim people living in the far west of China. The Chinese government is accused of oppressing this minority, based on reports of internment camps and massive surveillance.

Shortly after this version of the editor was released there were massive DDoS attacks against Notepad++. Don Ho suspects China behind these attacks, respectively hacker groups who attack for China.

Reaction: Notepad++ locked in China

If you are in China and want to download the editor from the official Notepad++ site, you will get a warning message. This warning message was published by the official Notepad++-Twitter account:

This warning says that the content of the page might be illegal

Don Ho, according to own statements, is not surprised by this step on the part of the Chinese government, but he stresses that freedom of expression and fundamental rights are important, so he will not remain silent.

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M.Sc. Jan Hörnemann

Hello dear reader, my name is Jan Hörnemann. I am a TeleTrust Information Security Professional (T.I.S.P.) and have been dealing with information security topics on an almost daily basis since 2016. CeHv10 was my first hands-on certification in the field. With a Master of Science degree in Internet Security, I have learned about many different aspects and try to share them in live hacking shows as well as on our blog. In addition, I am active as an information security officer and have been qualified by TÜV for this activity (ISB according to ISO 27001)